October 30, 2015

The media make their living on “breaking news.” The news is no longer in business to inform the public; it’s in business for the sake of business—to turn a profit. Now, there’s nothing wrong with making a profit and being a successful business, but when it comes to the news we need to keep in mind what is motivating the content we are consuming—especially during an election season. In the age of the 24-hour news cycle, in order to get the ratings needed to make the big bucks everything must be spun to such an extreme that you can’t help but stay on that station or click on that link.   It is getting to the point where the media must continually outdo itself in an effort to keep the attention of the viewers, listeners, and readers. Unfortunately, this means the priority of news outlets is no longer to inform, but to entice.

There are three spirits in particular the media often partner with in order to grab the audience that I want to caution you to be aware of: fear/doom, urgency/chaos, and distrust/suspicion. As with all evil spirits, the nature of these create a feeling akin to an addiction that sucks the life out of you, yet leaves you wanting more. As believers, we have free access to the true Wisdom of the ages and all power and authority in the name of Jesus over these spirits, and it is our responsibility to be aware and walk in that wisdom and authority.

1. Fear/Doom

It’s no secret that the media is infamous for its doom and gloom headlines. It is too easy to watch the news and believe the world is going to hell in a handbasket, or that we are in constant danger of war, crime, terrorism, etc. While it may be a fact that there are horrible things happening all around the world at any given time, fear and doom are not the Truth. Jesus told us, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

It is absolutely imperative that we do not come into agreement with the lies this spirit is telling us about our world. As tempting as it may be to go down that dark path of thinking, it is no more than just that: a temptation. You must say no and instead believe and declare the truth that He has overcome the world.

2. Urgency/Chaos

You can’t watch five minutes of any news program without a “breaking news alert” interrupting the program to tell about the latest mess happening somewhere in the world. The media go to great lengths to make what they have to say sound like the most important thing you need to know about anything. This spirit of urgency/chaos tells a lie that everything is happening all at once and completely out of control.

But, once again, this is not the Truth. The Truth is you have access to perfect Peace all the time! The Truth is Jesus is Lord and King over all the earth; He knows everything that’s happening and He’s not afraid. We may not have all the answers to the world’s problems, but your Dad does and there is no need to worry.

3. Distrust/Suspicion

Certainly there is a valuable role in maintaining a standard of transparency and accountability in leadership, but this valid role has been perverted to sniff out scandal and now seeks to expose rather than inform. Sadly, it has sown distrust toward leaders into the hearts of many and, as a result, too many people now expect the worst.

Of course, leaders aren’t perfect, and I’m not suggesting you have to agree with everything they do, say, and believe. But disagreement is not the same as dishonor or distrust. Agreeing with a spirit of distrust plants seeds of suspicion in your heart, causing you to judge the heart of the person, and question their every thought and motive. The spirit of distrust tell you that you have a right to expect bad things from this person. This is only setting our leaders up for failure! They will never be able to please us if this spirit is allowed to be the lens through which we view them.

When you encounter something in the media you disagree with, it is crucial that you guard your heart against spirits of distrust, suspicion, and accusation. We must disagree in a spirit of honor and humility and, as Paul tells us in 1 Timothy, pray and be thankful for our leaders:

“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”

Imagine what would happen if every believer chose to honor, protect, and pray for everyone they saw in the media they disagreed with? Life would be tranquil and quiet!

As a believer, you are seated on the throne with Him at His right hand. All power and authority has been given to you in the name of Jesus. Imagine how different the news and the world would be if every believer refused to believe these lies and instead prayed and declared the truth into every situation.

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